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Posted: Monday February 6, 2012 3:05PM ; Updated: Monday February 6, 2012 3:33PM

Super Bowl XLVI sets viewership records

Story Highlights

The 111.3 million viewers for Super Bowl XLVI, tops last year’s Super Bowl

The viewership peaked at a 117.7 million viewers in the fourth quarter

The halftime performance by Madonna was seen by 114.0 million viewers

By Richard Deitsch

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The Super Bowl XLVI ratings hit their high mark in the fourth quarter, as the Giants took and protected a 21-17 lead against the New England Patriots.
The Super Bowl XLVI ratings hit their high mark in the fourth quarter, as the Giants took and protected a 21-17 lead against the New England Patriots.
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

If you watched Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, you were part of the most-watched television show in U.S. history.

NBC announced on Monday that the Giants' dramatic win over the Patriots was seen by a record 111.3 million viewers, topping last year's 111 million for Super Bowl XLV on Fox. The viewership peaked at a 117.7 million viewers late in the final quarter of the 21-17 game, according to fast national data released by The Nielsen Company.

The network also reported that the halftime performance by Madonna was seen by 114.0 million viewers, nearly four million more than last year's performance featuring the Black Eyed Peas (110.3 million). That sets a record for most-watched Super Bowl halftime show featuring entertainment, whose rating dates back to 1991.

The past three Super Bowls are now the three most-watched programs in U.S. history, followed by the 1983 final episode of M*A*S*H.

NBC said the overnight rating in Boston was the best ever for an NFL game in that market (56.7), topping the previous high of 56.1 for Super Bowl XXXVI. The Indianapolis market drew the second highest overnight rating (56.4). The New York market registered a 49.7, the second-highest overnight for an NFL game in that market, trailing only the 53.4 for Super Bowl XLII.

 
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